Kribensis Cichlid

Kribensis CichlidScientific Name Pelvicachromis Pulcher
Family Cichlidae
pH 5.5 – 8.0
dH 2 – 10
Temp 23– 26 degrees
Life Span 5+ years


Pelvicachromis Pulcher orginates from West Africa in the rivers and stream of the Niger Delta.


Known as the dwarf cichlid the Kribensis or ‘Krib’ is one of the more popular cichlids in the aquarium trade. Other names include Rainbow Crib, Purple Cichlid or Palette Cichlid. Males will reach up to 10cm in length while the female slightly smaller at about 7cm. The male body shape is elongated compared with a more compact, rounded female. A  black stripe runs the entire length of the lateral line with males dorsal and anal fins extending to a fine tip. Both display patches of colours, mainly yellow, orange and red. Female colouration is brighter and while breeding her red belly becomes an even more intense red. The Kribensis also comes in an Albino form.


The Kribensis can be kept in a community tank as they are relatively peaceful except while breeding. Keep in an environment with plenty of hiding spots and dense vegetation. A sandy substrate is preferred as they are bottom dwellers, living around driftwood and rocks, digging pits underneath plants as potential homes. Provide them with a cave or other hollow place for them to reside in. They are cautious of their surrounding so it is best to not keep them in a tank with bigger more predatory fish. Suggestible tank mates include Barbs, Guppies, Gouramis, Rasboras, Danios, Platties also other African Cichlid fish. They inhabit both slow and fast moving streams and are undemanding with regards to water parameters.


The Kribensis is an omnivore. Feeding on mostly algae and plant matter in the wild, give them a diet consisting of mainly vegetable based foods such as spirulina flakes or pellets. Also accompany them with cichlid foods, frozen blood worms and brineshrimp.


There is no specific disease relating to this fish but are susceptible to others.


An easy fish to breed with breeding taking place in a cave. Put them in a group and allow to pair naturally. Raise temperature in the tank and feed with live foods to induce spawning. Best to breed them in a pH of 6.5 – 7.0 as this will help even out a brood of offspring. With the Kribensis if the water is too alkaline, more males will be produced but if too acidic more females will be. Upwards of 250 eggs will be laid. Do not keep a breeding pair with Catfish as they are known to eat the eggs. The male will usually guard the cave while female looks after the eggs. Once the fry become free swimming both parents will protect them while swimming around the aquarium. After about 1 month they will be left to fend for themselves.